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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MEASURES IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN GIRLS FOR GEMS)

Author
item Treuth, Margarita
item Sherwood, Nancy
item Butte, Nancy
item Mcclanahan, Barbara
item Obarzanek, Eva
item Zhou, Ainong
item Ayers, Candace
item Adolph, Anne
item Jordan, Joel
item Jacobs, David

Submitted to: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/25/2003
Publication Date: 3/18/2003
Citation: TREUTH, M.S., SHERWOOD, N.E., BUTTE, N.F., MCCLANAHAN, B., OBARZANEK, E., ZHOU, A., AYERS, C., ADOLPH, A., JORDAN, J., JACOBS, D.R. VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MEASURES IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN GIRLS FOR GEMS. MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE. 2003. v. 35. p. 532-539.

Interpretive Summary: Reliable and valid measures of physical activity in young children are needed. This study was designed to test 2 self-report methods against 2 activity monitors in 8 to 9 year old African-American girls. Each girl wore a CSA accelerometer and a pedometer for 4 consecutive days. Girls completed on 2 occasions a 24-hour physical activity questionnaire (GAQ) of what they did yesterday and usually, and a 3-day computerized self-report record called the Activitygram. The reliability of the methods was acceptable, except for the pedometer. The reliability was determined by the intraclass correlations (ICC) for the CSA (ICC=0.37, P<0.0001), pedometer (ICC=0.08, P=0.094), Activitygram (ICC=0.24) (P=0.005) and GAQ for physical (R=0.80, P<0.0001) and sedentary (R=0.3 to 0.5, P<0.005) activities. Using the CSA accelerometer as the "gold standard," the validity of the methods was low. Correlations assessing validity of the self-report measures and pedometer against CSA accelerometer were low for activity assessed from a single day, but higher when multiple days were used. Self-report methods need further development for improved reliability and validity in young African-American girls.

Technical Abstract: Purpose: To determine the reliability and validity of physical activity monitors and self-report instruments suitable for young African-American girls. Methods: A validation study was conducted by the Girls Health Enrichment Multi-site Studies (GEMS) research team to compare an accelerometer, the criterion method,against a pedometer and 2 self-report instruments for assessing physical activity in African-American girls, age 8 to 9 years. Girls (n=68) attended two clinic visits spaced 4 days apart. Each girl wore a MTI/CSA accelerometer (used as the criterion standard for validity), and a pedometer simultaneously for 4 consecutive days. Girls completed on 2 occasions a 24-hour physical activity checklist of yesterday and usual activities, including sedentary activities (GEMS Activity Questionnaire, GAQ), and a 3-day computerized self-report instrument (Activitygram). Results: Girls were (mean+/-SD) 9.0+/-0.6 years old and had a mean BMI of 19.4 kg/m**2. Reliability measured by intraclass correlations (ICC) and Pearson correlation coefficients (R) was calculated for the MTI/CSA (ICC=0.37, P<0.0001), pedometer (ICC=0.08, P=0.094), Activitygram (ICC=0.24) (P=0.005) and GAQ for physical (R=0.80, P<0.0001) and sedentary (R=0.3 to 0.5, P<0.005) activities. Significant Pearson correlations between the CSA and the other instruments, as a measure of validity, were observed for the 4-day average pedometer score (R=0.47, P<0.0001), the 3-day average Activitygram score (R=0.37, P=0.002), and the average of the two yesterday and the two usual GAQ activity scores for a subset of 18 physical activities questions (R=0.27, P=0.03, and R=0.29, P=0.02, respectively). The MTI/CSA was uncorrelated with single day scores from the 3 other instruments. Conclusion: The reliability of the instruments tested was acceptable, except for the pedometer. Correlations assessing validity of the self-report measures and pedometer were low and tended not to be significant for activity assessed from a single day, but higher and significant when averages of 2 to 4 days were used. Self-report instruments need further development for improved reliability and validity.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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